The Fear of Losing Our Democracy
David Mathews is not only President and CEO of the Kettering Foundation in Dayton, Ohio. He is one the most important thought-leaders in our nation. In his closing remarks at this year’s National Issue Forums Institute in Washington, D.C., he said we are at a time when confidence in government is at an historic low and many people are frightened that this loss of confidence is eroding the legitimacy of our democracy. For me, the silver lining in this growing national crisis is that the fear of losing our democracy may very well provide the incentive (ie. sense of urgency) needed to bring our citizens and policymakers together to ultimately save it. I see signs of this already happening in the current roll out of a grassroots initiative supported by the Ohio Public School Advocacy Network to provide citizens a stronger voice in shaping statewide education policy. In fact, I believe that many of our elected government officials share the public’s concern about the future of our democracy and welcome the opportunity to engage in productive conversations with the citizens they represent.